General Question

Hollister0221's avatar

How do you uninstall an application on a mac?

Asked by Hollister0221 (502points) March 19th, 2008 from iPhone

need to know

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

21 Answers

Riser's avatar

You need to access the application folder. There should be an icon specifically for uninstalling, otherwise you’ll have to right click the application and access “show contents” and that will give you access to an uninstall icon. What mac do you have and what application is it?

Spargett's avatar

I like AppZapper.

It finds any system files and preferences associated with the application and trashes them for you.

AppCleaner is a free alternative if you don’t like AppZapper.

Hollister0221's avatar

iMac trying to uninstall tomtom home to

squirbel's avatar

Typically you just drag the entire bundle to the trash can. Some programs leave .prefs or .plist files behind, which a simple name search will reveal. Some apps come with uninstall routines, embedded in the bundle as Riser described.

boettiger's avatar

I second the AppZapper recommendation. That’s all you’ll ever need.

richardhenry's avatar

Almost all applications can be uninstalled simply by dragging the application from the Applications folder and into the Trash (on the far right hand side of the dock at the bottom of your screen). The exception to this rule is any application that modified the system dramatically when it is installed, such as Flip4Mac ( A rule-of-thumb would be that if the application installation process only involved dragging it from a disc image and into your Applications, then it does not require any special uninstallation process.

Some applications will leave behind a small text-based preference file buried within your Library folder (you will have seen this in your home folder), which some users find annoying, although in reality they do not cause any problems as such. Unlike the Microsoft Windows registry, preference files are not loaded into the system memory throughout operation, only to be loaded when the application needing them launches, and to be unloaded when the application quits. Therefore, having more preference files in your Library folder does not mean a slower system.

Generally, using an application like AppZapper ( will remove all traces of the application from your system. However, general dragging to the Trash should be just fine in almost all cases, and won’t cause any damage in the few cases where extra steps would be recommended for advanced users.

Hope this helps.

Hollister0221's avatar

thanks alot guys!

simone54's avatar

All you have to do is go in control panel, find install/uninstall programs, then find the one you want off.

It’s that easy….

if you have a PC….

so, like you don’t need get other software to uninstall things.

richardhenry's avatar

simone54: You do not need to install other software in order to uninstall an application on a Mac. Just drag the application to the Trash. It is important to remember that the uninstallation process on Windows does not actually remove everything: often registry entries remain, which, unlike preference files on a Mac, do cause gradual system performance issues as they accumulate.

While there is no need to use an application like AppZapper strictly speaking, it is sort of nice to know that it’s like you never installed the thing in the first place. To make an analogy, AppZapper is the equivalent of a registry cleanup utility for a PC.

squirbel's avatar

I second richardhenry, too bad he had to repeat himself. Macs do not store crap like pcs, the files left there are harmless and do not take up excess space (they are KBs). Apps like appzapper, appcleaner et al are for pc-to-mac switchers who are conditioned to use uninstall panels and uninstall batch files.

If you really want to make the switch, learn this! :)

Hollister0221's avatar

thanks guys I got the appzapper anyhow. However nice to know u can just throw it in the trash. LOL. Nice. I am a mac user forever

Bri_L's avatar

Here here simone54.

It should be noted that the success rate of uninstalling with install/uninstall is about that of the first launch of each new windows operating system.

Hollister0221's avatar

along with appzapper I got Disco for a discount. Remember I am new to mac however loving and learning alot. Was Disco a waste? I could not find any apps for burning cd’s

richardhenry's avatar

Great choice Hollister. The zap sound is quality. :-)

richardhenry's avatar

You can burn discs out of the box with OS X. Simply insert a blank disc, and then double-click on it’s desktop icon to open it as a Finder window. Drag any files you would like to burn, and then click on the ‘Burn’ button closer to the top of the window, appearing in a black bar.

Disco wasn’t a wasted purchase, as it features many useful aspects such as being able to create a ‘discography’ to keep track of previously burnt discs so you can burn them again without having to relocate the files.

If you would like more information, open this topic as a separate Fluther question. You can always learn more about using your Mac from .

squirbel's avatar

Disco rocks.

Hollister0221's avatar

I’m amazed at all the applications tree are for macs u dont know what to pic

richardhenry's avatar

The thing I enjoy the most about applications for the Mac is a general sense of a higher build quality. Applications run faster than they would do on a PC, load more cleanly, the installation and uninstallation process seems more solid, and you know that it isn’t clogging up your general day-to-day workflow.

Other applications you may enjoy include Cha-Ching (, Aurora (, and many other freeware applications are out there too. John Gruber’s Daring Fireball ( is a good way to keep track of news and activity within the Mac community, and he often makes good recommendations in terms of things to try.

richardhenry's avatar is a good website for browsing and finding popular Mac applications, as is .

squirbel's avatar

I love that you overcame the myth that there are no apps for the mac! You can do anything on the mac that you can do on the pc…

I also use There are lots of freeware for the mac since it is based on UNIX (Darwin)... Lots of unix apps have been ported to the cocoa and carbon standard.

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